There’s no doubt our working world has changed significantly in the 21st century. Gone are the days when we chose an occupation or set ourselves off on a clear career path, in the knowledge that we were set for life!  Today’s career path tends to be a lot more varied, with tangents, new directions, backtracking and with many of us changing jobs as frequently as every 2-5 years.  It stands to reason therefore that keeping up to date in your field, taking up training opportunities and being aware of what you truly want out of your working life, makes sense.  Fluidity keeps you fresh!  

Why is career fluidity important? 

 As we’ve said, the world of work has evolved and by keeping yourself open to new ideas, exposing yourself to new techniques and increasing your knowledge, it makes you a far more attractive prospect to organisations and helps to keep you fulfilled and interested in your work. Professional development will help to improve your job performance, helping you to achieve what you need to.  It’s likely to boost confidence, improve your morale and job satisfaction too.   

 Formal or informal? Different ways to grow at work. 

 Not all training and development has to be formal. Of course, you can take courses, exams and so on, but there are many ways you can make learning and growth part of your working day:  

Understand your strengths - business book author Marcus Buckingham has said, 'Your strengths are not what you are good at, and your weaknesses are not what you’re bad at. A strength is an activity that makes you feel strong, just as a weakness is an activity that makes you feel weak'.  He feels that strengths are the activities that draw us in, and everybody has them.  So, take time to consider what your strengths are and how you can lean into them. 

Get strengths-based feedback - ask people from both in and outside of work, who know you well, if they can describe when you are at your best in three words. When you receive meaningful and relevant feedback, especially within work, your level of engagement is vastly improved.  Make sure to action any feedback you receive and thank the feedback giver! 

Stretch your strengths - consider how you could use your strengths differently in your day-to-day work. 

Get to know your ‘super strengths’ - these are activities that you are more than good at, you are brilliant at.  

Set SMART goals - SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Relevant/Realistic and Timebound.  The idea is that you set goals for yourself that stretch and challenge you but are also realistic and achievable, making it far more likely you will succeed. 

 Exploring your career path 

 There is a Japanese concept known as ikigai, the definition of which is ‘a reason for being’, something that gives you a sense of purpose and a reason for living.  You could frame your career path using this concept, focusing on finding out what your innate motivations are - what makes you feel happy and engaged? Think about what you are missing in different areas of your career and how you can acquire these things. There is a lot to be said for authenticity in all aspects of our lives. 

 Looking for some inspiring listening? Our podcast is a great way to add a bit of informal learning into your day!